Why is diet so important?
In order to repair the body and regain health, diet is of the utmost significance. The “fuel” that gives the body the components it needs to function properly is food. We can’t achieve or maintain health if we continue to eat unhealthy foods. And to heal and fix the body, we need to eat in a way that gives us the most nutrients and the fewest toxins or things that cause inflammation.
Just as Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said, “Let thy food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be thy food.”
In the same vain, an article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association from 2008 acknowledges this:
“Unquestionably, nutrition is one of the primary environmental exposures that determines health. Common human chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular and neurological disease, and many cancers are initiated and accelerated by nutrient/food exposures.”
Foods can be placed into 3 main categories:
1. Micronutrient-rich whole foods that help the body heal
These are foundational foods that are high in nutrients and good for your health, unless you have an allergy or sensitivity to one of them. They are foods which contain the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and amino acids) needed to build, heal, and repair.
- Healthy Fats (well-farmed animal fats, coconut oil, nuts & seeds)
2. Foods that may best be avoided until the body heals or avoided completely due to certain health conditions
These foods, that may or may not be tolerated and may be healthy for some individuals but inﬂammatory for others
- Gluten-Free Grains
- Nuts & seeds
- Nightshades may be added to this list specifically for people with Autoimmune issues or joint problems and may be reintroduced later
3. Foods that everyone should eliminate (or at least keep to a minimum)
This 3rd group of foods that are highly inﬂammatory, and unnecessary for a healthy diet, which generally causes more harm than good
- Sugar and other high-glycemic, highly processed foods
- Gluten – increases intestinal permeability in EVERYONE – i.e. leaky gut
- Genetically Modiﬁed Foods (GMOs)
- Trans Fats and Highly Reﬁned Vegetable Oils
- Chemical Additives: Artiﬁcial Sweeteners, Artiﬁcial Colors, and Flavors, MSG
General Healing Diet guidelines
To avoid when trying to heal the body
- Trans Fats
- Highly Refined Vegetable
- Refined Sugar
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Artificial Colors & Flavors
- Highly Processed Foods
- Focus on eating unrefined micronutrient-rich xfoods and on avoiding universally harmful foods.
- REMOVE the most damaging, pro-inflammatory foods from your diet
- REPLACE them with healthier alternatives in order to
- REPAIR your cells and
- RESTORE your body to a state of optimal health.
- The QUALITY of the food you eat is extremely important: Optimise nutrient density, focusing on fresh, whole, unprocessed foods which typically include vegetables, fruits, nuts, and roots as well as fish, meat, and eggs if you eat animal protein
- Look for grass-fed/grass-finished beef, pasture-raised/organic poultry and eggs, and wild-caught seafood.
- Purchase organic fruits and vegetables if possible (especially those on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” List, or those that may be GMO such as zucchini, yellow squash, sweet corn, and Hawaiian papaya).
- Otherwise, you will be exposing yourself to hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, neurotoxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, synthetic drugs, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and more. As mentioned above, also avoid foods that typically degrade health over time such as commercial dairy products, gluten, sugar, industrial seed oils, and alcohol.
- Eat RAW FOODS at every meal, including at least one salad every day.
- Include some low-sugar fruit away from animal-protein meals
- Enjoy your food and chew it thoroughly to start enzymatic breakdown in the mouth, which will lead to better digestion and assimilation.
- As much as you can, avoid eating after 6:00 pm.
- Try intermittent fasting if possible, for at least 13 hours from supper to breakfast.
There is no one-size-fits-all perfect diet. Different people need different amounts of macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbs), and some people are allergic, sensitive, or intolerant to certain foods. Food intolerance, sensitivities, or outright allergies can have a negative impact on our health, leading to autoimmune disease and other serious illnesses, whether physical, neurological, or psychological.
As far as knowing if a food is working for you or against you, one could perform expensive allergy or food tolerance tests. Alternatively, we can use a tried and tested method known as the ELIMINATION-CHALLENGE approach.
This is the gold standard in knowing which foods agree with you at a given time. We’ll cover it in more detail in our next article.
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